Volkmar Völzke's BLOG


🐣 Are You Still Looking For Easter Eggs?

Will you be searching for Easter eggs? Or paint them? Or at least go on an Easter outing? Or ignore Easter? Either way, most of us have a few more days off than usual and are enjoying this time in some way.

Besides Easter, two other things have happened:

  1. The days, by definition, got an extra hour of daylight in the evening a few days ago (called summertime).
  2. More than a quarter of the year is already over.

In other words: What you haven't started seriously so far of your plans, wishes or resolutions for 2022, you will hardly realize this year.

Unless you start right now, and MASSIVELY!

I always find it amazing that most leadership teams in companies do a lot operationally, but too little strategically.

According to my guiding principle that you should not chase success, but attract it by what you become, you should have already become much more attractive. And that means for your employees, your customers, your market and - yes! - also for money.

So my question is: Are you looking...

Continue Reading...

You Can't Change Other People!

Perhaps you are surprised that such a headline comes from me of all people.

Don't I preach again and again the statement that everyone can in principle achieve everything? And that anyone can therefore also change anything?

Yes, exactly, and that is the important difference: You can change everything about yourself, but you cannot change other people.

At least not directly.

But you can initiate and support the changes that others make in themselves.

That's obvious, because otherwise there would be no need for leadership.

After all, your people (and you yourself) must continue to develop if you want your team or company to be successful in the future.

By the way, anyone with teenage children knows this: you will find it very difficult to " command" change in young people. The only thing that works is to inspire them to change themselves.

Now, of course, comes the question, "How do I get others to change?" Here are three tips from my practice on this:

  1. Clarity about beliefs.
Continue Reading...

Are You A Renter Or An Owner?

Many people give me the impression that they do not own their life, but rather rent it. The difference is huge: as a renter, you know that you can return whatever you rent at any time, according to the contract. No obligations left. As an owner you have full responsibility; as a renter only partially. Have you ever washed a rented car? 

What I see as a key difference between successful and average people is that the former treat all they do as if they owned it.

They are proud of it, maintain it, leverage it, and maximize its impact. In contrast, those who do things just as renters become negligent about their tasks and goals, do not think of leverage, and hardly maintain a high performance level. 

What I describe here as “it” can be your life, your business, your job, your body, your relationships; in brief, everything that you deal with. 

Here comes the even more interesting part: the most successful businesses have teams that see themselves as owners of...

Continue Reading...

🤔 How To Lead Without Being The Boss?

Good leadership is even challenging when you officially are the boss.

After all, even your "position power" doesn't do you much good if people are reluctant to follow you. At best, you can force results in the short term. In the medium and long term, that never works.

And you certainly can't form a winning team with this approach. You need other levers for that ( get in touch with me if you want to know what these levers are).

On the other hand, how much more difficult is it when you have to lead others but you have no formal authority to direct them?

From my observation, such positions are becoming more common:

Whether it's the product portfolio manager across multiple divisions, the global sales head who relies on local subsidiaries, or the project manager with twenty project team members from a wide variety of divisions.

In these cases, how can you achieve maximum results with your virtual team?

Well, the answer lies in the fact that top leadership has always meant top influence...

Continue Reading...

Do You Have A Front Row Culture?

If your team or your staff went into a theatre, how would they fill the seats?

Would they walk in slowly, hesitating to take the seats, preferring the seats at the aisles to easily escape when it becomes unpleasant? Would they leave the front rows empty and stay at the back? Would they stay silent when the show begins and only provide moderate applause at the end? 

Or would your people rush into the room, trying to grab the seats in the front rows, chatting with each other, making jokes, impatiently waiting for the show to begin, releasing their excitement with a roaring applause? 

You guessed it. This scenario is a metaphor for two extremes of your team or corporate culture. And it really works if you imagine your team being in the described situation in the theatre.

Are you a front row or a back row team?

Honestly! Which one is more fun to work with? Which one would more easily take on new challenges? 

Most teams I see are back row teams.

Here is what you can do to...

Continue Reading...

‼️ Be Careful What You Say!

Our language is an interesting tool: we use it to influence not only others, but also ourselves.

"How am I supposed to know what I think before I hear what I say?" is a well-known and true saying.

If you keep saying the same thing about yourself, whether positive or negative, you will end up believing it. You can't help it. Therefore, be careful how you talk about yourself.

But another aspect of language is just as important: others connect us to what we say, not just the content, but the way we say something and how often we say it.

This becomes especially clear in presentations and video recordings (which I regularly recommend to all leaders): your messages consist of much more than your content.

You could even say that your content conveys the least amount of influencing energy.

So how can you improve your language to become more persuasive and influential?

Here are three concrete tips with immediate effect from the multitude of possibilities:

  1. Delete words of doubt.
    Words like...
Continue Reading...

How Good Are Your Manners?

I find that a high number of managers and even top leaders have surprisingly questionable manners for personal interaction. 

Examples: No answers to value-generating personal communication, even if they know the other person. Not showing up on time to confirmed meetings. Ignoring work performed by their team. Not executing the agreed tasks. And so on. 

Showing good manners is an attitude.

This becomes in particular obvious when I interact with somebody who demonstrates superior manners: they answer to valid requests (no matter if the answer is negative), they show up on time and are prepared, they do what they say they will do, they are present in personal interactions, and so on. 

And by the way, good manners have nothing – yes, nothing! – to do with available time or position. Often, even the busiest and most “important” people are the ones with the best manners. However, it has everything to do with the respect for others, prioritisation,...

Continue Reading...

😠 The Everyday Frustration As A Leader

Life as a leader is not always easy. There are not only times when you celebrate great successes with your team, but also frustration and difficulties.

The higher your own expectations, the more likely you are to experience frustration - if you don't install certain routines.

What I encounter as difficulties when coaching with my clients are various typical issues:

People not keeping their promises and timelines, coming to meetings unprepared, and so on. You just can't fully rely on others.

Another typical frustration generator is drama between people and departments, sometimes like in kindergarten (which is why parenting and leadership have a lot in common).

Many leaders also complain about "getting nowhere." The days go by with all sorts of things, but not the really important ones. Then in the evening you ask yourself, "What did I even get done today?"

So how can you minimize this difficulty and frustration? Here are three ideas:

  1. Clarity about goals.
    The most important point is...
Continue Reading...

What is success anyway?

I’m writing a lot about success. Hence the question is important: what is success anyway? The answer to this question has a significant implication on the future of your life and your business. 

As for all other building blocks that shape our future, the perception of success is also a question of our mindset and our beliefs.

In other words, what I believe about success will determine how successful I become. 

In most of my workshops, some attendees will connect to success in negative, rather than positive, stories. For them, success is associated with stress, obligations, “blood, sweat, and tears”, failure, envy, and much more. The consequences are clear:

People with negative beliefs about success will do everything to subconsciously sabotage their success. 

This effect of the mindset of team members on the success of the entire team and their leader is largely ignored. Even if addressing these challenges is most effective in coaching or workshop...

Continue Reading...

🌅 The Best Morning Routines

Your morning sets the tone for your day. This is an old adage. If you create your morning by yourself and consciously, you dramatically increase your chances of ending the entire day successful and fulfilled.

A very important correlation is this: if you already start your morning reactively, you will most likely continue to do so.

"Reactive" means activities like checking emails, social media, news channels, newspaper, and so on.

My point is this: You can do all of that. But please don't do it as your first thing. Make the first hour of each day completely self-directed.

That always works. You may have to get up earlier to do it (and go to bed earlier accordingly). That's what most top performers do.

Here are three things you should be sure to incorporate in the morning, and do so without external interference:

  1. Increase physical energy.
    For your entire day, it's important to have some kind of physical routine first thing in the morning, whether it's stretching, yoga, cardio, or...
Continue Reading...

50% Complete

Yes, I want to benefit from the FRIDAY NOON MEMO

Simply enter your name and email and hit "Submit".

Important: You will receive an email with information on data privacy, which you must confirm in order to register effectively. Please check your email inbox.